Jennifer Smith, Daily Mail, November 11, 2021
Police forces across America are preparing for civil unrest in reaction to the looming verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case that is growing increasingly likely to be a mistrial or an acquittal.
Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for murdering two white BLM protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August. The teenage gunman claims he was defending his hometown from an angry mob, but his critics say he embodies the systemic racism the victims were protesting against.
Closing arguments are expected next week but the case has already been thrown into chaos, with many expecting it will either end in acquittal or mistrial.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers have asked for a mistrial because prosecutors introduced banned evidence. Some legal experts have now suggested it was a deliberate move to throw the trial as their chances of convicting grew narrower.
Court is now back in session, but the heat surrounding the case is increasing and police forces across the country are among those watching closely as to how it will play out.
Early this morning, the judge revealed that the court has been inundated with ‘communications from members of the public’ including offensive emails.
The judge was branded a racist in some of them, and attorneys on both sides have also been targeted.
Chicago PD sent a memo to officers this week notifying them that one of their days off this weekend had been canceled, claiming it was due to ‘current crime patterns’ in the city. Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara claims it is in anticipation of ‘upheaval’ from the Rittenhouse trial.
He said in a video posted on YouTube on Monday, he fumed at the canceled time-off, and said: ‘They do not get to keep saying we need manpower just in case a verdict doesn’t go positive, and all of a sudden there’s upheaval.’
The police department is now refusing to confirm or deny his claims, or whether they anticipate uprising this weekend or next week.
All they will say is: ‘To enhance public safety and to address current crime patterns, all full-duty sworn members will have one regular day off cancelled this upcoming weekend between November 12, 2021 through November 14, 2021.’
Other departments in major cities are also being tight-lipped on whether they anticipate trouble, and what they are doing – if anything – to offset it.
The LAPD refused to reveal whether or not any special preparations had been made because of the trial when contacted by DailyMail.com on Thursday morning.
All a spokesman would say was: ‘The Los Angeles Police Department will have sufficient amount of officers in an event if anything arises.’
There was silence from the NYPD, LA County Sheriff, DC Metro Police, Minneapolis Police and Philadelphia PD.
Portland Police Department, which was almost disbanded entirely by BLM and now only has 788 officers, told DailyMail.com it was ‘monitoring’ the situation but hadn’t yet deployed any extra resources.
‘PPB is monitoring the situation and will deploy resources if needed based on information available,’ a spokesman said.
Washington DC Metropolitan Police said: ‘MPD closely monitors leading events across the country and across the world.
‘MPD maintains a level of preparation that would allow it to respond appropriately to any emerging concerns that may arise should it become necessary.’
Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesman for the National Police Association and a retired cop who worked in the Chicago area for decades, said forces will not want to disclose exactly what they are doing for fear of alerting protesters who can then circumvent them.
‘I’d guess that perhaps they’re just trying to be prepared without too much being known to potential protesters. A lot of jurisdictions will be doing that.
‘One of the things, when we go back to George Floyd riots and others, some departments were caught unawares of hw bad the situation was going to be.
‘Law enforcement has learned from recent history…they’re going to try to be prepared,’ Sgt. Brantner Smith told DailyMal.com on Thursday.
She said there was potential for things to turn ‘ugly’ in Kenosha, Madison and Milwaukee.
‘I’m sure Kenosha are preparing for riots. That was one of the things – when Jacob Blake shooting happened that led to the Kenosha riots, it was because the city leadership in Kenosha did not get a handle on it.
‘They’re going to have to make preparations for the safety of the jurors, everyone involved in the trial.
‘Madison, there may be some issues there, Milwaukee – a large, large city. I’m sure there’s preparations being made there.’
One potential problem, she said, would be police staff shortages that have been compounded by COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
‘With cities like Portland and Chicago- there are staffing shortages already and then let’s add the vax mandates, and the shortages caused from that.
‘Now you’ve got what could be violent nights ahead, vax mandates where police officers are being sent home by the hundreds and thousands, we could have some trouble brewing,’ she said.
In Kenosha, where the trial is ongoing, shopkeepers still have boards on their windows from last year’s protests.
The police department there will not discuss what is being done to offset any potential uproar, but it appears officers are on high alert.
‘KPD wants our community to know that our priority during the upcoming trial is the safety of our community and every person that calls Kenosha “home” or visits our city,’ the police department said at the start of the trial.
The Wisconsin National Guard will neither confirm nor deny if troops are being put on high alert.
Police across the US are bracing for uproar as Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial draws to a close.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he shot and killed two white BLM protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August using an AR-15 at the height of civil unrest across America.
The case divided America; some viewed him as a patriotic vigilante who was defending his town from an angry mob.
Others said he embodied the systemic racism that sent thousands onto the streets to protest police brutality, especially because Rittenhouse, a young white man, was treated with a soft touch by law enforcement before eventually being arrested.
Whether he is acquitted or convicted, outrage is guaranteed.
There is also the possibility that the judge may declare a mistrial, given the prosecution’s decision to introduce evidence that had been specifically banned earlier this week.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers asked for a mistrial with prejudice yesterday.
If the judge grants it, it means the teenager cannot be retried on the same charges.
There are also concerns that a trial verdict may be reached around the same time as a jury reaches a verdict in the killing of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
Arbery was shot dead in February 2020 by three white men who claimed they thought he was a burglar. They are on trial for murder as a hate crime in Brunswick.